Doraville Keeps Losing E-SPLOST V Projects

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“Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them”    — Frederick Douglass (August 3, 1857)
Case in point:
Cary Reynolds ES and Indian Creek ES
This image has been part of every Dekalb Schools SPLOST presentation since May. Note that the graphic clearly states: “Approximately $60 million committed to two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys Cluster”.

At the most recent school board meeting (11/7), the promise to Doraville for a new elementary school was quietly removed from previous plans. It was supplanted with a rebuild for Indian Creek.
Not only should Doraville be getting a new elementary school to alleviate over crowding, Cary Reynolds should either be rebuilt entirely or have a far more significant renovation than is now planned. The District’s most recent plan shows Cary Reynolds as only getting a $5 million (Roof, HVAC, Site Improvements, Site Utilities – $5.55M). This won’t begin to address the overcrowding or inadequacies at that school.
Note: The main factors used to determine which schools need renovations, additions and/or rebuilds are:

  1. The Facility Condition Assessment (FCA) score;
  2. The Facility Educational Adequacy Assessment (FEAA) score; and
  3. The capacity and enrollment data and projections.

Also note: In 2016, 300 students were redistricted out of Cary Reynolds.

Enrollment Capacity PctCap Fcst Trailers FCA FEAA
Cary Reynolds 900 701 128% 905 20 31.62 51.43
Indian Creek 1,158 898 129% 1,070 12 38.43 80.17

While enrollment at Indian Creek has flattened out and declined over the last few years, enrollment at Cary Reynolds continues its steady increase.

Capacity 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
Cary Reynolds 701 877 994 1058 1163 1193
Indian Creek 898 964 1056 1092 1,087 1064

It is also noteworthy that half the elementary schools surrounding Indian Creek ES are under capacity while all the elementary schools surrounding Cary Reynolds are at 110% – 120% capacity.
DeKalb Schools seems to well understand exactly what the city of Doraville will quietly submit to.

155 responses to “Doraville Keeps Losing E-SPLOST V Projects

  1. The DeKalb Board of Education received this email last night. I’m disappointed that communications aren’t better, especially on such a significant decision. –Stan
    To: DeKalb Board of Education
    Dear Dr. Johnson, Dr. Erwin, Dr. Morley, Ms. Turner, Mr. Orson, Mr. McMahan, and Mr. Jester,
    I request your assistance to let the public know why the District removed the second elementary school to relieve overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster from the E-SPLOST-V Project List presented to you on November 7 by Mr. Joshua Williams.
    I was quite surprised by this change, as the District’s commitment to allocating $60 million in E-SPLOST-V Category 2 Funds for 2 elementary schools to relieve overcrowding in the Cross Keys cluster featured prominently in every DCSD presentation in the Secondary Schools Facility Planning and Feasibility Study and E-SPLOST Project public meetings. This commitment was made publicly from at least May 2016 through October 18, 2016.
    On November 7, after the meeting, I emailed Dan Drake asking for clarification.
    The next day I sent a second request for clarification to the esplost@dekalbschoolsga email address included in Mr. Williams’ presentation.
    On November 10 I sent an email to Mr. Williams asking for clarification.
    As you may suspect, I did not receive a reply.
    Apparently the reason for what could be termed an “abandonment” of a community is not to be shared with a member of the public. Nor have I seen this addressed on the District’s website.
    Therefore, I request that you seek clarification and make the reasons public. Perhaps there is a perfectly good reason for the change, but the silence is deafening.
    Thank you for your efforts on behalf of students and teachers in DCSD, including the ones in the Doraville area who can no longer count on receiving a much-needed and long-promised elementary school from E-SPLOST-V funds. Depending on the public’s willingness to support a bond referendum backed by property tax millage for this new school, as Mr. Williams’ presentation states, is hard to understand.

  2. Stan:
    I have a question for you…. I know a lot of us out here are wanting to #deferthevote until February or March to get a better understanding and a better use of our tax dollars the planning of additions to our schools. Is there a way to only defer part of the money? Meaning the $261+/- million that goes to additions. Go ahead with the health and safety upgrades that need to be made and let’s get those projects started. Hold off on the additions until we get a more “written in stone” type of guarantee from the county.
    Why do I ask for this? I will tell you why. I have sat through several construction committees and have seen where the county takes 15-20% of the money that our school was promised only to have it taken away from us because the county overspent on another project in a different SPLOST. For example, all SPLOST IV projects were cut 16% to pay back overruns in SPLOST III. My fear is SPLOST IV projects are already coming in over budget and the money is going to have to be paid back from somewhere. Guess where they are going to move the money from SPLOST V. I can see the county cutting cafeteria, library, and other common spaces there were promised in the additions to cover the overages.
    I am still not a fan of the additions, I still believe that Doraville is still the best solution. I also did not vote for SPLOST V and I hope everyone reading the blog understands why.

  3. Lynn, The board could approve all the project list categories except category II, the building additions. The money set aside for each category is independent of the other categories.

  4. Scott Gillispie

    It seems perfectly clear to me from appendix B why it got pushed out – when they did the feasibility designs and more detailed costing for the MS/HS work, the cost jumped from the $163 million expected in option B, to $202 million – exceeding the $170 million budget by $30+ million. Perfectly understandable, given that construction costs locally are doing nothing but going up this year. Since the second ES doesn’t have a site identified yet (unlike John Lewis ES), that’s the clear one to place at risk. It sounds like there’s overwhelming support for finding the additional funding for the second ES (or CRES rebuild, if that’s appropriate), so I’d expect to hear many comments to that effect at the 5 Dec board meeting.
    I would expect that a similar cost escalation would have applied to the option A elements also, bumping it up from the projected $247 million to perhaps $300 million; that would break a few more elements of the ESPLOST budget.

  5. The county could have rebuild any ES in Doraville using the school they already have. The county made a choice not to. They rebuilt Fernbank on Fernbank property. Yes, for a year the kids had to be bused to another location for school. Why do one thing for Fernbank and not do it for Doraville?

  6. Scott Gillispie

    I’m sure it has to do with the squeaky wheels down in the Fernbank area; I’m sure someone who was in the process five years ago could name names. Not sure what that has to do with now.
    That was E-SPLOST IV scope, of course – here’s a link to the presentation that shows what was in that scope – the north county updates look to have been Austin ES, Chamblee HS, Pleasantdale ES.

  7. I think people are generally dismayed at the fact that elementary schools in the Cross Keys cluster have had 20 – 30 trailers on it for years. 6, 7, 8 year old children traipsing through the rain, sleet and snow to go to the restroom in port-a-potties.

  8. Describing the overcrowded conditions and listing the trailer count at Cary Reynolds really doesn’t paint a picture of the scope of the work needed at Cary Reynolds Elementary School. I drove by there tonight and it really is appalling and an embarrassment to our county and planning department, and what we as a community are willing to allow – for YEARS. For those of you advocating for a Lakeside High School addition and familiar with the Lakeside site, imagine taking the largest of the 2 Lakeside HS parking lots and filling them with 20 single-wide trailers and the associated ADA steps and ramps that go with that. I urge everyone to go by and look at the school and write, call, email the School Board, Dr. Green, Dan Drake with your comments. This is so much of a bigger issue than astro-turf or parking decks.

  9. Carol, it really is a shock to the system when you see it in person. My family drove by there a couple of months ago, and I was so appalled by what the County has allowed that school to become. And, I’m even more appalled that this project has been yanked from the SPLOST V list at the last minute. We need to be driving the administration and Board members absolutely nuts about getting the Cary Reynolds kids a new school ASAP!

  10. So let’s all send the BOE members photos of Cary Reynolds and ask them why this school is only getting a new roof and HVAC system. Nothing planned to get rid of the trailers.
    Gee, just think what good that new roof and HVAC system will do! In the winter when the children walk from their trailers through the rain into the building at 10:00 am for their lunch, they’ll appreciate the new roof which keeps the rain off their heads, and they will enjoy getting warm again after a walk from their trailer into the building.

  11. Greetings, Mr. Jester.
    I do not follow your blog often as I know you speak mostly to your area supporters, but your recent postings were brought to my attention by a friend who follows you. I am not quite sure why you are throwing Indian Creek under the bus after many years of people advocating tirelessly for our voiceless parents and community. While I can appreciate that you are doing the same for Doraville, we never disparaged another school to make our case, hoping and praying that our time would eventually come based on our growing voices.
    I understand that you and your constituents, led by you, want a new school and you have “data” to support, but we had our own points as well. The difference is we always made our own arguments based on our own need and not comparatively to any school who needed it less. Did we believe that Tucker and Fernbank needed their luxurious rebuilds less than we did at the time? Yes, but we didn’t cry foul on it. We approve what the E-SPLOST decision process provided and worked within its parameters and are happy with the outcome. I know you and your supporters would love for 25%+ of the money designated for rebuilds to happen in Doraville, but we are confident we have just as much need in Clarkston.
    Our main points for need…
    + our current enrollment is 1,200+ students
    + our projected 2022 enrollment is 1,457 (162% our school capacity). This likely won’t change as we are surrounded by apartments (not single family homes) and most kids walk to school.
    + our 16 trailers (we gained 4 more this year)…one whole grade level (3rd) meets in trailers without restrooms
    + 900-1000 of our students walk to school every day. Only 2 buses for 1200 kids.
    + Facility (leaky roof, faulty A/C, constant repairs-WIFI and P.A. system)…even after renovation.
    + Security – our classrooms in the trailers are often broken into and do not have technology available to kids as a result.
    Thank you for your support for DeKalb schools as a whole. There are many schools and areas around DeKalb that need “fixing” and we are happy that Indian Creek’s time has finally arrived. Your support for us as a board member is much appreciated. 😉

  12. Adam, I believe both communities needs can be met in the next few years and reject the idea that it’s a “winner take all” fight between Doraville and Clarkston. Please contact me at 678-361-4200 or if you would like to collaborate. Go Angoras! 🙂

  13. Frustrated Dekalb Parent and Taxpayer

    First, I thank Stan Jester for keeping the community informed throughout this process. Second, I agree with pretty much everything Insanity has said on this thread. Kim, you are so set in your idea of what is right versus wrong that you cannot see the forest through the trees. You will not acknowledge that you are advocating for a very small portion of the North DeKalb County school population to the detriment of the rest. Does the current CK cluster need to be busted up to fix the years of unlawful gerrymandering? Absolutely! Can that be done with a new Doraville HS.? Absolutely!
    The current plan does not address overcrowding and leaves existing schools in a much worse place than they are currently, with the exception of CK. It is very one-sided. You say that you care about “all the children” and that you are “invested” in the CCHS community as a whole but the CK Foundation Position recommended closing down CMS and busing the kids currently zoned for CMS over to SMS, which for some would be nearly a 7 mile hike. How do you fix one wrong with another? You don not! You would be inflicting upon the CMS kids the same burden that the CKHS have had to bear (unconscionably so) for years but you would be inflicting it upon younger children at the middle school versus the high school level. That hardly can be considered looking out for all of the children including those currently zoned to CCHS.
    As for Rebekah, you say that you had your CK kids attend the meeting so that their voices would be heard but those kids won’t be affected by any of this as they will all be out of high school by the time this all comes to fruition. The kids that will be impacted by this process are the kids that are currently in elementary school yet all the focus is on the high school councils and not the elementary school councils. Be transparent in your intentions and who your really represent because it is not “all the children.”
    Do school lines need to be redrawn? Absolutely! Will everyone like it once the school lines are redrawn? Absolutely not! Everyone cannot be made happy in this process and that is why the focus needs to be on the community as a whole and actually fixing the problems rather than appeasing special interest groups.
    The solution is to build a new school in Doraville and scrap the additions to the existing three high schools and then redistrict appropriately using DCSC outlined criteria in a sensible way. Everyone supporting Option B would like us to believe that their reasons for doing so are altruistic but the reality is that they are all in it for themselves.
    Huntley Hills would rather stay in the CCHS cluster than fix the overcrowding problem with a Doraville H.S. because they don’t want to move. APES was told that they had no choice in the matter and that they would be moving to the new CKHS under any scenario but hey if you get behind Option B there will be more money for your brand new state of the art facility (since we won’t be building one of those in little old Doraville) and Sagamore Hills will be forced to go with you.
    So they made “lemons out of lemonade” but the reality is that they were just sold a bill of goods. Doraville starts to speak up publicly about a new HS and suddenly their new elementary school is scratched from the project list which is just despicable if you ask me.
    The fact of the matter is DCSD is banking on people moving to Cobb County (which clearly knows how to run its school system much better) or taking their kids out of public school and moving them to private school following the implementation of this disaster because, hey that helps with overcrowding and its less kids for them to be responsible for. What do they care?? They clearly don’t.
    I have always been opposed to making it easier for privately run charter schools to enter Georgia (one of the toughest states for this right now) and the concept of vouchers but this whole process is making me reconsider. Maybe it is time for the school system to be flipped on its head because it clearly does not act in the best interests of “all the children.”
    We need more people like Stan Jester and our school system would run much better because he seems to be the only one trying to solve the problem on a long-term basis and advocating for a solution that works for all including, but not just, his own constituents.

  14. I do agree, Kim, that it should not be a community vs. community battle. It is clear that DeKalb is needing to fix many of their areas and I would rally for any community that stands up for itself on its own merits. In our Clarkston area, we chose to approach our situation in a way that showed our needs and not making such comparisons to other schools to get what we want…and, yes, we are happy that all of the advocating paid off…hopefully. That being said, I am also hopeful that Doraville will also get their much needed attention. Waiting many years for help is very difficult…we have been there and did not just “magically appear” on the list as I know some might think. We are just the “quiet storm” (and patient it seems)… ;).

  15. Hello Adam.
    Indian Creek and Cary Reynolds are both in dire need of a rebuild and expansion. Unfortunately SPLOST dollars are a zero sum game, so we have to prioritize. Here is the data …
    Question: Have students been redistricted out of Indian Creek recently? Half the elementary schools surrounding Indian Creek ES are under capacity while all the elementary schools surrounding Cary Reynolds are at 110% – 120% capacity. 300 students were redistricted out of Cary Reynolds this year.
    Indian Creek has gained 100 students in the last 4 years. Cary Reynolds has gained twice that (accounting for redistricting)

    Capacity 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
    Cary Reynolds 701 877 994 1058 1163 1193
    Indian Creek 898 964 1056 1092 1,087 1064

    Trailers – Even after redistricting 300 students this year, Cary Reynolds still has twice as many trailers as Indian Creek.
    Facility Conditions
    Recently the school district completed a Facilities Condition Assessment (FCA). While Indian Creek’s FCA is abysmal, Cary Reynolds’ FCA is worse.

    Enrollment Capacity PctCap Fcst Trailers FCA FEAA
    Cary Reynolds 900 701 128% 905 20 31.62 51.43
    Indian Creek 1,158 898 129% 1,070 12 38.43 80.17

    Educational Adequacy
    There is also the Facility Educational Adequacy Assessment (FEAA). Once again, while Indian Creek’s score is abysmal, Cary Reynolds’ is worse.
    Once again, I am sympathetic to the deplorable situation at Indian Creek. However, the data indicates that Cary Reynolds should be a higher priority than Indian Creek for a rebuild.

  16. Adam. Good approach. I’m confident the ways exist to address both ICES and CRES. Best wishes and good luck! Let me know if I can help.

  17. It was a bout 4-5 years ago when our large growth occurred with some of our newest refugee groups (Burma and Nepal) and we gained about 200-300 students in a 2-3 year span [corrected]. We did, in fact, have redistricting happen and lost our Scottdale students to McLendon. I believe that was about 100-200 students, but we may have only taken a small dip in attendance which quickly recovered again with our newly resettled families and the younger siblings who are now becoming school age. Our high numbers are largely due to the large family sizes that live in our apartments 5+ people in 2-3 bedroom apartments. We are considered the most densely populated area in all of Georgia with our large number of apartments and very few single residence homes.
    In regards to the FEAA, I noticed many of the comments made on the CR report (broken blinds, cloudy windows, storage shelves, ESOL/SPED/etc. in trailers, “counselor offices separate”) also apply to our school but was not mentioned…odd as this seems to be subjective to the reviewer. Our highest marks were definitely with the size of our rooms and I would say most are big enough to hold 25-35 kids. We just don’t have enough of them;)
    While I hear your argument about trailers (do you really have 32 there? Yikes), how many students are actually in those trailers right now? I would have figured many are going unused with 300 students having left CR. They are always an eye-sore for sure. While yours are visible in front, ours is in the back. CR is currently 200 over capacity and projected to be 135 over in 2022 (without packing rooms to the gills, that might equate to 5-6 trailers with 25 students per). IC is currently 300 over capacity and projected to be 559 over in 2022 (22 trailers). Again, about 90-95% of our students live within the 1 mile walking radius of our school, so redirecting our 2 buses is not a feasible solution. Some schools may have some empty seats currently, but none that would make sense shipping students 4-8 miles when they walk 1/2 mile to school.
    I would hope that there is a way that both needs are served as both areas have gone largely unattended to in 10+ years. All the best to Doraville and its wonderful students.

  18. The October FTE enrollment report says Cary Reynolds has 20 trailers and Indian Creek has 12 trailers. Both situations are a mess. I’m really glad you’re speaking up. We both should have been louder 5 years ago.
    Indian Creek is at the vortex of 6 different high school clusters. Redistricting means sending those students to another cluster unless we create a split feeder patter for an already vulnerable population … not exactly a good idea.
    What a mess.

  19. Frustrated Dekalb Parent and Taxpayer, it likely will do no good but as far as I know you and I have never had a conversation on this topic. So, here goes …
    1. I not only acknowledge but proudly have advertised for a decade who I an advocate for: BuHi area kids of Brookhaven, Chamblee, and Doraville. My own kid will be in the population you claim will be adversely affected at CMS and CCHS that you say I don’t care about. What kind of stupid does that make me?
    2. Huntley Hills … HH neighborhood is in the walk zone for CCHS. They should be shamed for wanting to stay in the cluster? Not following your logic on that one.
    3. MS commute time, Sagamore and more … you are making assertions about attendance area changes that are not even proposed. You are assuming the existing CCHS cluster would remain as-is except for AP. I’m not so sure about that. A lot depends on where the new HS is sited, yes. But also on DCSD’s response to overcrowding projected at MES. Are you at MES? What’s your solution for MES overcrowding? Should Nancy Creek ES be reopened? If so, what should its lines be? Stan, if you are down in this detail of the comments, do you think Nancy Creek ES should be reopened as an attendance area school? Doesn’t this have implications for MES attendance and clustering in 5, 10 years?
    I think there are valid arguments to be made for and against a “fourth HS” in Region 1, aka the “Doraville HS.” I respect many who disagree with me and came to their own conclusions. What I don’t respect is the vilifying of opponents or entire classes of persons such as is being done to our AP and HH neighbors.
    Frustrated Parent, your moniker and your comment make it clear you are frustrated. We share that. I hope that in 5 to 10 years as the speculation evolves into reality we find your real worries turn out to be unfounded. No one can say so now with certainty and if they are saying so, they are misleading themselves and us.

  20. Dear Dr. AJ and others,
    Let’s agree that Indian Creek ES and Cary Reynolds ES both have big, legitimate needs.
    What bothers me is the way DCSD handled the situation.
    When an unpopular decision has to be announced, a leader has 2 choices:
    1 – slide the change in amongst lots of other info and hope no one notices
    2 – announce the change, state the reasons for the change, and acknowledge that the public is disappointed.
    We all know how DCSD handled the removal of the second elementary school in the Cross Keys cluster. They chose Option #1.
    Now it has been 3 weeks since that decision was announced and still there is no response from DCSD. These are hard choices. Maybe Indian Creek ES is the right choice. Maybe not. But to refuse to address the legitimate concerns about yanking a project that has been promised for 6 months or more is not strong leadership.
    That’s the real problem for me. Once trust is gone, nothing else matters much.

  21. Trust is at the heart of all of this, yes. 100% agree with your analysis, Anon

  22. And trust can be restored by meeting the commitment AND delivering ICES, too.

  23. Kim, I’m not surprised to see you finally bring up the reopening of Nancy Creek and subsequent split of MES on Stan’s blog. You’ve implied that this could happen before. And, don’t worry, all of MES is very well aware of this idea AND I promise you and DCSD….we will fight the splitting of our school tooth and nail!
    I post this because it just occurred to me today, after Kim posted the notion of reopening Nancy Creek to Frustrated Dekalb Parent and Taxpayer , and with the recent pulling of the 2nd new elementary school in Doraville what the County may be planning down the road, and as a justification for pulling the Cary Reynolds project. Since my own level of trust with DCSD is completely shot at this point, it wouldn’t surprise me if this is now their long term plan to relieve overcrowding at Cary Reynolds (by shifting students between CRES, HHES, re-opened NCES and MES). Call me a crazy conspiracy theorist, but my gut tells me we need to watch this one very closely folks!

  24. Finally? Lol. I should check with you to see what I need to say next …
    Yes, the question that everyone seems to be ignoring is what to do with our Region 1 overcrowding NORTH of the current CK schools.
    No, I won’t call you crazy. But I will say that your scenario is a biiiiiiiig stretch. The more likely scenario is the “2nd New ES for CK” opens and relieves both Cary Reynolds and Dresden. That combined with the new John Lewis pretty much solve the ES issues south in the Region. This does not help MES, though.
    So the stakeholders would be wise to be developing a vision for the type of solutions they would like to see. The obvious ones include Nancy Creek and CMS sites. But there may be other and better ideas waiting to be devised when better minds are on it. I encourage MES leaders to stay ahead of this question by developing a series of options that the community would support.

  25. Kim Gokce isn’t winning any popularity contests at MES anytime soon…

  26. Good points and advice all around Kim, and MES will most certainly be engaging in those exercises!

  27. Frustrated Dekalb Parent and Taxpayer

    Kim, I’m glad you have admitted that you are only advocating what is best for one group but to be fair you often attack others for advocating for “their” interests and not looking at “all our children” as I have seen you say it numerous times. As you said it, your position is one sided with one group in mind, BuHi. They need a voice for sure and I sincerely think you are doing well by and for them. But my point is we have a whole community of children to think about here so your voice and advocacy should not be the only one heard in this process.
    I never said that HH should be shamed for wanting to stay in their cluster. Everyone wants to stay. What I am saying is let’s be transparent about why people are supporting Optipn B. That’s all.
    As for commute times, kids at the north end of the MES/CCHS attendance zone near the perimeter would have to travel either nearly 7 miles to SMS or if redistricted to a new CK school at Briarcliff nearly 10 miles. Seems to be the same problem we are trying to fix with CK now just inflicted on difffernt children.
    As for MES I would say let the MES community work that out. The community has done a great job building a great school and I am sure a solution to overcrowding that works for the MES community as a whole can be accomplished.
    Finally I am absolutely not villfying APES. I know they want to stay just as HH and everyone else so I feel bad for them that they were told they had not choice. I think the goal was to pit APES and MES against each other in this process rather than have them stand together as one community.
    Yes I am frustrated and I truly hope it’s all for nothing and it will work out but sadly I have no faith in DCSD or this process based on the way it has been playing out . I more likely see a move or private school in my future neither of which I wanted for my kids.
    Please understand I mean no personal insult to you. You are doing what you think is best for your kids and I feel that it is not what is best for the community as a whole including my kids of course. The most frustrating part is I see an answer that works for ALL on a long term basis staring us right in the face and can’t comprehend the opposition to such a plan.

  28. Frustrated, you last phrase, though, is the challenge I have. You say you do not comprehend my opposition to “A” type solutions. I fully comprehend yours. I have no issue with yours and those that share it. I do not agree with the rationale but I understand it.
    I do have an issue with folks looking for all sorts of conspiracies and petty reasons to explain the position for “B” supporters. If you’ve followed Stan’s blog here, I’m posted in many forms, including a five point rationale why I support “B.” I helped develop and publish a multi-page basis for this position.
    Also importantly for me the effort I have put into this has absolutely zero to do with my kid. He’s going to be fine wherever he goes because like your kid(s) he has highly resourced, educated, engaged and motivated parents. The fact that I have adopted the cause of a few thousand kids along BuHi is something I’m very proud of and do not feel discounts my views in any way.
    We can respectfully agree to disagree. I appreciate your candor.

  29. Frustrated Dekalb Parent and Taxpayer

    To be accurate its not petty or conspiracy. People supported B because it’s what they felt was best for their communities or they felt they had no choice and decided to make the best of the situation. It is not secret that APES’s first choice was to stay in the CCHS cluster. You support B because it benefits the BuHi kids that you represent and there is nothing wrong with that. But please keep in mind that just because your effort has absolutely zero to do with your child does not mean that DCSD’s plan should be one that fails to consider your child or my children or any other Region 1 child that will be affected by the outcome. You have chosen to advocate for BuHi but DCSD has a responsibility to act in the best interests of ALL of its students, your child, my children, the BuHi children, the Dunwoody children, the Lakeside children, etc. I am not discounting your views and I apologize if you feel that it came across that way. I am simply pointing out that your views are with an eye towards the best possible outcome for BuHi because that is who your represent such that it is simply one view on behalf of one part of the student population that makes up Region 1 of DeKalb County. And just as you do not think your view should be discounted you must agree that the voices of those with differing views representing different parts of the student population of Region 1 should be given the same consideration and weight as yours. Of course, we will agree to disagree because we are looking at this from two very different perspectives. I believe that there is a solution that can work for everyone but I feel very strongly that it most certainly is not an Option B type solution that leaves Doraville without a HS and the 3 existing high schools over capacity with inadequate additions. I do appreciate you addressing my concerns even if we don’t agree. Without dialogue we will never make progress so I will always welcome it.

  30. Wow, that sure did happen quickly…..but great news nonetheless. Very glad to hear the administration was willing to listen to the public about Cary Reynolds and put that much needed project back on the list.
    Now, if we could just get the school board and administration to listen to the public about delaying Monday’s vote…

  31. It is a Christmas miracle! Now all we need is for Santa to bring a new CK MS AND a Doraville HS and all will be right! If we make that new ES a k-8 academy SMS can become a HS and we don’t even have to search for land in Doraville!

  32. Good News: Doraville is getting a new elementary school.
    Bad News: The school district magically decided they were going to get more money to pay for it.
    On Nov 7: E-SPLOST V Program Total Revenue: $531M
    On Dec 1: E-SPLOST V Program Total Revenue: $561M

  33. What is the forecast for SPLOST V?

  34. In March ppt to the Chamber it was $551M if I’m reading this correctly on slide 8:
    Has there been a revision?

  35. Oops. Nevermind – that’s not the figures I think we need.

  36. That’s unnerving that the project list and budget are still fluctuating like this.
    BTW- how did you find out about the project list? The board found out at roughly the same time.

  37. I’m a script kiddie – I had a php script poll the page for changes every five minutes. 🙂

  38. Super cool. I’m a tech nerd. Can I get a copy of that script?

  39. Margaret Francois sends emails to any mere mortal who asks. Her email came out at 1:41pm.

  40. Let’s try it without the scary php open and close tag …
    $handle = fopen(“”, “rb”);
    $contents = stream_get_contents($handle);
    $file = ‘basewebpage.txt’;
    //uncomment for 1st run to store base file
    //file_put_contents($file, $contents);
    $newChecksum = md5($contents);
    $oldChecksum = md5(file_get_contents($file));
    if($newChecksum == $oldChecksum) {
    } else {
    echo “—WEBSITE UPDATED—“;

  41. Anonymous … LOL. Humor prize for today goes to – you.

  42. Concerned Employee and Resident

    I am an employee at Cary Reynolds. I’m furious that little has been done to help the situation we are experiencing. The proposal to do renovations for 5.5 million dollars is laughable at best. We are currently having our lighting and ceiling tiles replaced. Our new ceiling tiles are already being ruined due to severe leaking all over the building. We have had teachers leave our building due to respiratory problems for years now. Why does this county continue to waste tax dollars applying band-aids (cheap ones at that) to wounds that need serious surgery? (WE NEED A NEW FACILITY!!)

  43. Concerned CRES employee – that is why the “2nd CK ES” must become the new CRES. That still means a few years to go. Thank you for sticking it out for the Bulldogs. I believe there is enough of a consensus among all stakeholders that it can be the solution demanded and ultimately delivered.

  44. There are a number of schools that are in dire need of a rebuild but are getting a renovation instead including Henderson Mill Elementary, Toney Elementary, Kittredge Magnet School , Eldridge L. Miller Elementary, Stoneview Elementary, Cary Reynolds Elementary, Briar Vista Elementary, etc … With a finite E-SPLOST budget, not every school that needs a rebuild can get one from these funds.
    Cary Reynolds could have had a rebuild like Indian Creek, but it was decided to build a new elementary school in that area and give Cary Reynolds a renovation. The same thing would have been done for Indian Creek except their attendance zone is so compact.

  45. I realize that is the project list but I’m of the “It ain’t over until it’s over” school. I think all concerned about CRES need to beat the drum relentlessly that that building must be retired and replaced with the “New CK ES.” Let’s see what we can manage – there are too many dependencies and moving parts to expect it all to play out as spec’d.

  46. Concerned Employee and Resident


  47. Kim,
    Dan Drake told me that the new CK ES is not to replace Cary Reynolds, it is to relieve over-crowding. Because of the projected enrollment they will need capacity at BOTH schools. Sure would make sense to build these same kids a high school, no?

  48. Stan – Speaking of renovations/new builds. Question for you – what does Montgomery Elementary have to do to get on your list of schools that need rebuilds/renovation? Our school is the same age as Kittredge and that makes your list of schools needing renovations. This is a 55 year old building that has a multitude of issues. Did you hear about the blow up boiler a few weeks ago? Or the fire in the kitchen? Or the first week of school when the sewage backed up into the hallway? The exterior lights don’t work the outside of the school, which makes evening pickups (after school program) very unsafe. Not to add to the list, but I want to understand what a school needs to do to get consideration for renovations. I know everyone needs things and Dekalb County’s record on maintenance is offensive. I know my wife, who is on the school council at MES, and the team there have been banging their heads against the wall to try and get some type of action from the county. We are lucky to have fantastic staff and parents that try to keep it up to the best of their ability, but the reality is that it is in just as bad of shape as many other outdated schools in the county.
    On another note, glad to see the community coming together and making things happen as it relates to the Doraville Elementary School being reinstated. Sounds like there are some thing can be worked out. Hope that leads to more. Thanks.

  49. Hilary: You are correct. No. 🙂
    Yes, the project list presumes two projects in the area: 1. reno at CRES and 2. the 2nd “New CK ES.” My argument is that the underlying, long-term strategy should be to close the current CRES building. I realize that the current state of enrollment indicates both are needed for an indeterminate time. What I am saying and have been since last year is that we must be open to, and lobbying for, every opportunity to replace CRES in this project as the data may allow. Very dynamic situation with the area ESes.

  50. Let me go even farther out on a limb; it is inevitable that CRES will be retired. So my goal all along has been to accelerate that reality in every way possible. I believe that during the SPLOST V period that may be possible. Can it be pre-determined? No, for the reasons you mentioned. Those reason will be changing and all I am saying is we need to watch the changes like a hawk for the opportunity to retire CRES with the new project.

  51. Hey Tim. Go to DeKalb Schools Building SPACES – Click on “Data” in the left navigation – Then click on the triangle under FCA at the top of the chart … There’s your list.
    You can click on your FCA score to get to the report behind it and see why MES ranks where it does.

  52. Stan,
    The E-SPLOST-V Project List agenda item for the December 5 BOE meeting says:
    • The E-SPLOST revenue projections for 2017-2022 were revised upward from $500 million to $530 million. With the Board’s approval of the final percentage distribution between DCSD, City Schools of Decatur, and Atlanta Public Schools, we now know one of the previous unknowns, which allowed staff and the District’s Bond Financial Advisors to review and update our initial projections with less uncertainty.
    • Thus, the total funding allocation for category two has increased from $261 million to $291million, with $260 million in E-SPLOST revenues and $31 million in GA DOE reimbursements, allowing for the construction of three new elementary schools: two new elementary schools in the Cross Keys Cluster (i.e. John Lewis Elementary School and new elementary school for Cross Keys North) and the tear-down/re-build of Indian Creek Elementary School.
    Three questions:
    1 – When did the Board (I assume it is DeKalb BOE?) approve the final percentage distribution between DCSD, City Schools of Decatur, and Atlanta Public Schools?
    2 – Who made the decision that the extra $30 million would go to E-SPLOST-V Category 2?
    Voters were told of a specific E-SPLOST-V budget allocation for a $500 million total. That equates to specific percentages for each category.
    Now that DCSD has “found” an extra $30 million, why doesn’t it legally have to be allocated to all five E-SPLOST-V categories in the same percentages as the original vote?
    I see Category 2 as the most needy, but how do we know that voters in other regions who don’t have the capacity problems but have severe needs in other E-SPLOST-V categories would approve this decision?
    3 – Who made the decision not to increase the Management Support, Debt Service, and Program Contingency budget?
    The budget for Category 2 has increased by $61 million from the initial amount, yet the Management Support, Debt Service, and Program Contingency budget hasn’t increased at all. How much extra risk is this?
    This seems like a very slippery slope.
    First we have an E-SPLOST-V vote for $500 million, allocated to five categories but to no specific projects.
    Then we find $31 million more in GaDOE reimbursement funds to add to Category 2.
    Now we find that there really is $30 million more in the E-SPLOST-V kitty, and it will all go to Category 2.
    You know, if we had known that Category 2 (New Construction and Additions) really had a budget of $291 million rather than the $230 million that the public was told when considering options, perhaps different options might have been chosen.
    Very slippery slope indeed.

  53. 1. 8/1/2016 – Approval of the E-SPLOST Certificate of Distribution
    The administration is recommending we spend the extra $30 million on a new Doraville ES.
    I’m not sure how that jibes with the language in the referendum.
    Many of the estimates seem to be +/- 40%.
    Original Round 3 Estimates

    New Classroom Additions Cost
    1. 600 seat addition at Dunwoody HS $23 million
    2. 450 seat addition at Peachtree MS $17 million
    3. 900 seat addition at Lakeside HS $34 million
    4. 500 seat addition at Chamblee HS $19 million

    Latest Estimates

    School Final Recommendation Change in Seats New Estimates Change In Funding
    1 Dunwoody HS 600 seats (2,100 seat capacity) 0 $16.4 million – 29%
    2 Peachtree MS 450 seats (1,700 seat capacity) 0 $13.9 million – 18%
    3 Lakeside HS 750 seats (2,500 seat capacity) – 17% $22.1 million – 35%
    4 Chamblee HS 600 seats (2,400 seat capacity) + 17% $16.4 million – 14%